Suicide terrorism as a socially approved form of suicide

For years, the conventional wisdom among most scholars has been that suicide terrorists are not truly suicidal, and that much like ordinary soldiers they are motivated by a selfless commitment to their  organization’s cause, rather than a desire to end their lives. However, evidence increasingly indicates that some suicide terrorists do exhibit classic suicidal traits

Culturally sanctioned suicide: Euthanasia, seppuku, and terrorist martyrdom

Suicide is one of the greatest concerns in psychiatric practice, with considerable efforts devoted to prevention. The psychiatric view of suicide tends to equate it with depression or other forms of mental illness. However, some forms of  suicide occur independently of mental illness and within a framework of cultural sanctioning such that they aren’t regarded […]

Mental- and physical-health effects of acute exposure to media images of the September 11, 2001, attacks and the Iraq war.

Millions of people witnessed early, repeated television coverage of the September 11 (9/11), 2001, terrorist attacks and were subsequently exposed to graphic media images of the Iraq War. In the present study, we examined psychological- and physical-health impacts of exposure to these collective traumas. A U.S. national sample (N = 2,189) completed Web-based surveys 1 […]

Adolescent exposure to the World Trade Center attacks, PTSD symptomatology, and suicidal ideation.

This study examined the associations between different types of trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and suicidal ideation among New York City adolescents 1 year after the World Trade Center attacks. A sample of 817 adolescents, aged 13-18, was drawn from 2 Jewish parochial high schools (97% participation rate). We assessed 3 types of […]

An Evolutionary Account of Suicide Attacks: The Kamikaze Case.


Israeli adolescents with ongoing exposure to terrorism: suicidal ideation, posttraumatic stress disorder, and functional impairment.

In this study, we examined the relationships among terrorism exposure, functional impairment, suicidal ideation, and probable partial or full posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from exposure to terrorism in adolescents continuously exposed to this threat in Israel. A convenience sample of 2,094 students, aged 12 to 18, was drawn from 10 Israeli secondary schools. In terms […]

Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Suicidal Behavior

This edited book contains 18 chapters: clinical use of suicide assessment scales; assessment of suicide; Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventories & suicide; Rorschach contributions; assessing the vital balance in evaluating suicide potential; the classic systems of psychotherapy & suicidal behaviour; crisis intervention & outpatient treatment; no-suicide contracts; cognitive-behavioural therapy; voice therapy; dialectical behaviour therapy; the widening […]

Introduction (IN: Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Suicidal Behavior, edited by R I Yufit & D Lester)

This introductory chapter outlines the content of the three sections of this book. In Part One, empirically based assessment techniques that measure important mood states, personality traits, & attitudes associated with suicidal behaviour are examined. Part Two compares several different approaches for conducting psychotherapy with suicidal clients. The final section presents issues of special relevance […]

Suicide Terrorism (IN: Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Suicidal Behavior, edited by R I Yufit & D Lester)

This chapter discusses suicide terrorism, first looking at this phenomenon in various cultures. The prevalence of suicide terrorist attacks is discussed next, followed by a profile of suicide terrorists including information on demographic characteristics, religion, revenge for personal suffering, & personality factors & psychopathology. The main elements that prepare an individual for suicide terrorism are […]

Effect of 7 July 2005 Terrorist Attacks in London on Suicide in England and Wales

This study examined the effects of the July 2005 terrorist attacks in London on suicide rates in England & Wales. An analysis was done of the number of suicide & undetermined injury deaths reported in the 12 weeks before & after July 7. Shewhart Control Charts based on Poisson rates were used to explore adjusted […]

No Evidence of Suicide Increase Following Terrorist Attacks in the United States: an Interrupted Time-Series Analysis of September 11 and Oklahoma City

There is substantial evidence of detrimental psychological sequelae following disasters, including terrorist attacks. The effect of these events on extreme responses such as suicide, however, is unclear. This study tested competing hypotheses about such effects by employing autoregressive integrated moving average techniques to model the impact of September 11 & the Oklahoma City bombing on […]

The Influence of a Major Disaster on Suicide Risk in the Population

The authors investigated the relationship between the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks & suicide risk in New York City from 1990-2006. The average monthly rate over the study period was 0.56 per 100,000 people. The monthly rate after September 2001 was 0.11 per 100,000 people lower as compared to the rate in the period before. […]

Rethinking Suicide Bombing

The psychiatric literature on suicide bombing was reviewed & compared to similar anthropological literature. A probe into the methodologies of researching suicide bombing, definitions of “war” & “terrorism” & beliefs on life, death, homicide, & suicide demonstrate that most of the psychiatric literature rflects a particular perspective which aspires towards a certain universalism. Anthropological approaches […]

Suicide Bombings – a Word of Caution

In this letter to the editor, the authors comment on an article by Kazim et al (2008) on suicide bombings. Zafar & Fatima assert misinterpretation of facts emerges as a persistent theme in the literature. (7 refs.)

Letters to the Editor


Association Between Terror Attacks and Suicide Attempts

Based on Durkheim’s control theory, the authors explored the association between frequency of terror attacks in Israel & the frequency of suicide attempts admitted to the emergency room of a major general hospital in Tel-Aviv (1999-2004). Analysis of the 6-year study period as a whole revealed no significant correlation between the variables, with the exception […]

Attitudes Toward Suicide Bombing in Pakistan


Suicide: Definitions, Statistics and Interventions at the International Level (IN: Suicide: Stategies and Interventions for Reduction and Prevention, ed. by S Palmer)


Suicide and Community Traumatic Events: is There a Connection?


High Female Suicide Rates: Ecological Fallacy or sad Reality?

In this letter to the editor, Salib & Tadros comment on an earlier study by Yip & Liu (2006) on suicide in China where females rates are higher than those among males. Salib & Tadros note this reversal of usual gender patterns is also seen in some communities in India & among immigrants from the […]

Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife? Channeled Conversations With the Dead

The first two-thirds of this book is about the after-death experiences of people who have died by suicide. It opens with chapters from traditional medical, academic, & mental health models & understandings of suicide. The final chapters in this part of the book are based on messages received through channelling & include messages of regret, […]

The Phenomenon of Suicide Bombing: a Review of Psychological and Nonpsychological Factors

This article reviews the literature on suicide bombing. It addresss the question of just how much a psychological understandng of the individuals involved can aid in prevention. Historical, epidemiological, & cultural perspectives are examined & the nonpsychological & psychological approaches to suicide bombing are compared. On the basis of the material available, it seems social […]

Letter to the Editor

This letter comments upon an article by Grimland et al (2006) on suicide bombing. Haddad & Lewerenz state the article began objectively enough but then became skewed toward the Western perspective of this phenomenon & thus is lacking in a full discourse of the issues.